Modimolle rape suspects 'didn't know' co-accused was HIV+
All the accused deny they knew Andries Sithole was HIV positive at the time of the attack on Ina Bonnette.
PRETORIA - The lawyer for two of Johan Kotze's co-accused claims his clients can't be convicted of attempted murder because they weren't aware a third man, Andries Sithole, was HIV positive at the time of the attack on Ina Bonnette.
Johan Kotze, dubbed the 'Modimolle Monster', Sello Phaka, Sithole and Pieta Mohlake are alleged to have kidnapped, raped and attempted to murder Bonnette in Kotze's rented Modimolle house in January 2012.
Kotze is accused of orchestrating the men to gang-rape her.
He also stands accused of murdering Bonnette's 19-year-old son Conrad.
All four men are currently on trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Prosecutors believe Kotze wanted Bonnette to die of an HIV related illness and want all four suspects to be convicted of attempted murder.
The state has argued Kotze carefully planned her gang-rape, while the other men were willing participants.
However, all four co-accused, including Sithole, deny they knew his HIV status before the attack.
They have also denied physically raping Bonnette.
Lawyer Francois van As, who is representing two of the accused, has argued the men had no intention of raping Bonette.
He says while Kotze threatened and instructed them to rape her, they refused to do so. Van As told the court an absence of injuries or DNA on Bonette proves this.
Judge Bert Bam has posed tough questions to Van As, asking why the men didn't flee the scene when Kotze instructed them to rape Bonette. Van As eventually conceded the men could've fled at some stage.
While Kotze has admitted to torturing and mutilating Bonnette, he has denied murdering her son and ordering the rape.
Earlier, Kotze's lawyer Piet Greyling told the court his client was temporarily insane when he attacked Bonnette and her son Conrad. Greyling argued he must therefore be acquitted.
Greyling told the court his client may have used his three co-accused as instruments to hurt his estranged wife Bonnette. But he argued Kotze was dissociated at the time of the attack.
He also tried to punch holes in the state's case calling its only witness Bonnette a liar.
The state maintains Bonnette's evidence is reliable.
KOTZE'S MENTAL STATE
Last week, a clinical psychologist testified that he did not believe Kotze was in a bad psychological state when he attacked Bonnette and her son.
After evaluating Kotze for two months, psychologist Cobus Coetzee told the court that the accused did not suffer from any mental disorders.
He was also capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his actions.
This differed from the assessment from another psychologist for the defence who said Kotze suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, major depression and acute stress.
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